The Real Business Of America

Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

"The chief business of the American people," Calvin Coolidge famously said, "is business." But voters have never been sold on the idea of a businessman in the White House. In theory, yes, why not run the government like a business? But candidates from Henry Ford to Ross Perot to Herman Cain can testify that voters don't fully buy that argument.

Mitt Romney's case is a little different. He was a governor as well as a businessman, and he was a management consultant and venture capitalist--which is very different from the CEO types who have sought the Oval Office. You could argue...

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